Low-income NYers facing eviction now eligible for free legal help

Low-income New Yorkers facing eviction are now guaranteed a lawyer.

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the measure into law Friday at the New Settlement Community Center in the Bronx.

Tenants who earn less than $50,000 a year will be eligible for free legal assistance.

The mayor said this will help struggling families, and will curb abuse from landlords.

"It's also going to send a message to unscrupulous landlords," de Blasio said at a press conference. "The message is: 'Don't even try it. Don't even try to illegally evict a tenant. Don't even try to illegally harass a tenant, or illegally deny them of repairs, or illegally deprive them of heat and hot water.'"

New York is now the first city in the country to guarantee free legal representation for tenants.

The program is expected to help more than 400,000 residents a year.

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