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Brussels's Undercover Quest for Fairer Housing

Officials hope to catch and fine real estate agents who discriminate on the basis of race, physical ability, sexuality, or other factors.
relates to Brussels's Undercover Quest for Fairer Housing
Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

As the City of Brussels seeks to weed out housing discrimination, it’s putting a new spin on an old watchdog technique: mystery shopping.

Starting September 1, the city’s Regional Housing Inspectorate is having public employees pose as prospective tenants, seeking evidence of landlords and home-sellers who unfairly bar new tenants on grounds of, among other factors, their race, physical ability, or sexuality.