block busting
 n.— «A committee of civic politicians wants to know what the city and cops are doing to crack down on “unscrupulous property owners.” It comes following an inquiry made by Coun. Don Iveson, who was concerned about homes being purposely run down to depress the value of neighbouring properties. Those properties are then bought at a cut rate for redevelopment.…A number of stories have appeared in the Edmonton Sun exposing a similar scheme that cops refer to as “block busting.” In those cases, organized crime rings are involved.» —“City wants report on ‘block busting’” by Frank Landry Edmonton Sun (Alberta, Canada) June 26, 2008. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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  1. Ben Zimmer says:

    A new version of an old practice. OED has a 1959 cite, here’s one from 1951:

    1951 Atlanta Daily World 9 Mar. 8/4 The story Lait and Mortimer tell of “block busting” is fantastic. According to them, after an all-white neighborhood has been scouted, a white property owner is found who is willing to sell to a colored person for a bonus.

    More here and here.

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