Discrimination in housing along racial, religious, ethnic, and class lines has long been a problem in the United States. The most widespread methods of housing discrimination have included preferential advertising, soliciting, and showings in housing sales and rentals. In recent years another type of discriminatory scheme, commonly referred to as blockbusting,' has surfaced. Blockbusting has been defined as "the practice of inducing owners of property to sell because of the actual or rumored advent into the neighborhood of a member of a racial, religious or ethnic group." Typically, the blockbuster preys upon the fears and prejudices of white property owners by representing that the white neighborhood is "'going colored,'" and that a decline in property values and quality of housing is inevitable. As a result, property owners often sell their homes for less than the actual value to the blockbuster, who in turn resells to blacks at inflated rates, thus cheating both the white seller and the black purchaser.

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