Guaranty Bank of Austin is wrecking new houses to provide a 'safe environment' for neighbours of the abandoned housing tract in Victorville, a high-desert city about 85 miles north east of Los Angeles, a bank spokesman said.

Victorville city officials said the bank told them the cost of finishing the development would exceed what they could sell the homes for.

The bank also faced escalating city fines as vandals and squatters took over the sprawling housing project, leaving behind graffiti and drug paraphernalia, city officials said.

Wall Street Journal