OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - As the coronavirus looms on, the gap between America's "haves and have nots" is becoming far deep and wider. With it comes a tidal wave of new homeless folks as the real estate market just keeps getting hotter and hotter.
The country may be on the precipice of seeing the largest homeless population in the entire American experience.
Thanks to record low-interest rates, America is in the middle of a housing sales boom that usually cools down this time of year. In the spring quarter, after an early coronavirus sales dip, Americans purchased 15 million homes. Previously-owned home purchases, in June, were up nearly 21 percent; a record and new home sales spiked almost 14 percent which was far more than expert projections.
Kathy Shatter, a longtime North Bay real estate agent said the markets are heating up.
"The markets are booming. They're booming across the boar in high-end price point including the high end market. It's not just buying a house. You're buying an interest rate," said Shatter.
Now, many people are working at home with no commute or they are buying a second.
"So we call it the outer counties are doing very, very well, including south of San Francisco," said Shatter.
At the very same time, millions of others are struggling to keep a non-canvas roof over their heads. Last month alone, 12.6 million Americans said they could not pay their rent. Without massive Federal relief, it's about to get unimaginably worse.
"You have the end of the federal unemployment benefits, the end of the federal moratorium, the expiration of the state moratorium," said John Pollock of the Public Justice Center.
Stout, a highly respected investment banking and consulting firm, is forecasting that as many as 12 million people will be served with eviction papers by October.
"When you look at the numbers of evictions that could be filed in the next four months, there's no correlation to that. There's nothing on record that looks like this," said Pollock
During the Great Depression, there were two million homeless. There were 643,000 Americans in shelters or on the streets. Currently, there are some 568,000 homeless people in the U.S.
Even in marvelous Marin, more than a third of its residents are renters, and many of them are lower-paid workers.
"Many of those are essential workers and that is where we're seeing the most cases of COVID these days. So, it's gonna be like a tidal wave. here in Marin and around the country," said Lucie Hollingsworth of Marin Legal Aid.
This would, by far, deepen and lengthen America's already massive economic disaster