New York City mayor announces new program to prevent homelessness that hires lawyers to fight unjust evictions

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Mallory Hoff is outside of City Hall with more (WABC)

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday unveiled a plan to hire more lawyers to help residents avoid unjust evictions.

The mayor announced the program and said it was part of his administration's growing effort to combat homelessness in the nation's largest city.

De Blasio said the city will invest $12.3 million to provide free lawyers for tenants who are in housing court fighting illegal evictions.

Officials said the program is available citywide but will focus on neighborhoods where there is increased rise of evictions due to gentrification.

The legal programs will cost more than $61 million annually by 2017.

There are more than 57,000 people in city homeless shelters, an increase from when de Blasio took office in January 2014.
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