Block busting is a real-estate tactic of misrepresenting a change in a given neighborhood. Illegal in most states in the U.S., it is the practice of:
- Representing that a change has occurred or may occur in the composition (with respect to race, religion, disability, familial status, national origin, etc.) of the owners or occupants in the block, neighborhood, or area in which the property is located;
- Representing that this change will or may result in the lowering of property values, an increase in crime or antisocial behavior, or a decline in the quality of schools in the block, neighborhood, or area in which the property is located; or
- Inducing or attempting to induce any person to sell or rent any dwelling by representations regarding the entry or prospective entry into the neighborhood of a person or persons of a particular race, religion, disability, familial status, or national origin.
Block busting is illegal if the real estate agent, real estate agency, or financial institution engaging in the practice stands to profit from the subsequent flurry of sales. After laws that enforced segregation were dropped, one black family moving into a white neighborhood could result in massive profit for a real estate agency. Today, though racial discrimination is illegal, racists still exist, and block busting laws rightly prevent profitting from racism. Even if discrimination is eliminated, the crime aspect of block busting may still exist for hundreds of years. Block busting is a form of deception.
- Kentucky State Law, "344:380 Block busting" Amended 1992 Ky. Acts ch. 282, sec. 42, effective July 14, 1992. -- Created 1968 Ky. Acts ch. 167, sec. 4.
- "House By House, the Faces of Elmhurst Changed", Detroit News, http://www.detnews.com/specialreports/2001/elmhurst/sunlead4/sunlead4.htm