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blockbusting

blockbusting Defined by Gregory Squires (Blockbusting in Baltimore, 1994)
as ‘the intentional action of a real estate speculator to place an African American resident in a house on a previously all-white block for the express purpose of panicking whites into selling for the profit to be gained by buying low and selling high’. Blockbusting occurs when there is racial prejudice on the part of White residents, underpinned by an institutionalized dual housing market, whereby lenders and realtors are involved in ‘a silent conspiracy on race and residency’ in order to maintain racially exclusive neighbourhoods. For reasons of self-interested short-term economic gain, realtors sometimes violate this unwritten agreement, and offer African Americans housing opportunities in hitherto exclusively White areas. The argument is reminiscent of Rex and Moore's much earlier account of housing classes, and by implicitly reviving the perspective of urban managerialism, it provides a corrective to those in sociology and policy-making who view urban processes in entirely cultural or structural terms.

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Blockbusting

BLOCKBUSTING

The practice of illegally frightening homeowners by telling them that people who are members of a particular race, religion, or national origin are moving into their neighborhood and that they should expect a decline in the value of their property. The purpose of this scheme is to get the homeowners to sell out at a deflated price.

An unscrupulous real estate agent will subsequently sell the vacated homes to minority group members at an inflated price, thereby obtaining a large profit. Fair access to housing is defeated by blockbusting.

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blockbusting

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