Homeless people who were sleeping under the Adelaide Street bridge over York Street have been driven out as city hall takes the unusual step of hiring security guards to keep people away from the overpass.

Despite a housing crunch that’s pushing more Londoners onto the street, into shelters, and onto a years-long waiting list for public housing, city officials say the new approach is necessary because of safety concerns and damage caused by the people staying under the bridge.

“There was a need to keep people away from that (spot) until we find a longer-term solution,” city hall’s manager of homeless prevention Craig Cooper said, acknowledging it’s one of the more “extreme responses.”