Some New Yorkers facing eviction may get free lawyers

When Cynthia, a single mother of two, fell on tough times after a death in the family she was served eviction papers. She was kicked out and had to enter the shelter system. Cynthia's story isn't all that different from so many others. In 2015, 22,000 families were evicted.

So New York City is dedicating millions of dollars to pay for lawyers to represent tenants facing eviction in housing court. Officials believe the program will help many New Yorkers keep their homes.

In his State of the City address, Mayor Bill de Blasio touched on the housing crisis impacting low-income residents and a plan to fix it. In the upcoming weeks the mayor is expected to sign a new bill into law known as Right to Counsel. Tenants making about $48,000 a year or less would be eligible for legal help.

Councilman Mark Levine said he has been working on the initiative for years. He said it is about fairness. He said that tenants represented by lawyers are much less likely to be evicted. He said the plan also makes financial sense because it is expected to save the city $320 million a year.