New York State and New York City officials opened a $27 million pot of funds to undocumented families whose homes flooded during Tropical Storm Ida but who were not eligible for financial relief from the federal government due to their immigration status.

Governor Kathy Hochul formally announced the measure at a press conference at the Queens Museum on Monday afternoon. People can qualify for up to $36,000 for housing assistance and up to $36,000 for additional funds to replace essential items for a total of $72,000, according to state officials.

“These people were looking to us in government to help them rebuild their lives, and we were going to have to say, 'sorry you don’t qualify?' No,” Hochul said, describing her encounters with people who'd lost everything on several visits to the borough in the aftermath of the storm. "We’re at war with mother nature sometimes. We don’t leave anybody on the battlefield. We bring everybody with us.”

People seeking to qualify can call the state’s Office of New Americans Hotline at 1-800-566-7636 between 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays. Nonprofits in each impacted county are tasked with administering the program, and people can apply directly through them, according to state officials. Applications are due by November 26th.

Nancy Ospina, a housekeeper who fled from her basement apartment in Woodside as floodwaters pressed in from all sides, joined elected officials for the announcement. She described her escape from her home of two decades. Speaking after the press conference she said she felt hopeful that she might be able to access funds to help her get back on her feet.

“Marvelous, if we can get those funds, so many years working here," she said, adding she'd paid taxes on her income for years. "Marvelous, what the governor is going to do for all the people who suffered through this."

When the remnants of Hurricane Ida dumped more than seven inches of rain across the New York metro area in early September, low-lying areas across the region became lakes, cars were trapped on roadways, and tens of thousands of homes flooded.

Some of the worst hit areas were working-class Queens neighborhoods like East Elmhurst, Woodside, Flushing, and Hollis. More than three dozen people died across the region, including 13 people in New York City, most of whom died in flooded, unregulated basement apartments.

The deaths highlighted the need to make basement apartments safer, which according to city estimates, provide a much needed source of affordable housing to at least 100,000 people, many of whom are recent immigrants. New Yorkers who lived in basement apartments that flooded lost most of their worldly possessions and 272 families needed temporary housing through the city’s shelter system, according to the mayor’s office.

Raquel Batista, the commissioner of the Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs said they estimated between 500 and 650 undocumented people were likely impacted by flooding in the worst hit neighborhoods.

People whose family includes a combination of citizens or legal immigrants and undocumented people cannot qualify for New York’s relief funds because they should be eligible for funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Through Sunday, more than 8,300 New Yorkers have qualified for more than $37 million in FEMA relief funds, with an average payout of around $4,500.

The following are the nonprofits handling applications for relief funds:

Bronx - Catholic Charities Community Services, 402 East 152nd Street, Bronx, NY 10455

Brooklyn -Chinese American Planning Council, 4101 8th Ave, 4th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11232

Queens - MinKwon, 133-29 41st Avenue, Suite 202, Flushing, NY 11355 and

Make the Road, 92-10 Roosevelt Ave, Jackson Heights, NY 11372

Staten Island - Make the Road, 161 Port Richmond Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302

Nassau - Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County, 134 Jackson Street, Hempstead, NY 11550

Suffolk - Make the Road, 1090 Suffolk Ave, Brentwood, NY 11717

Westchester & Rockland - NeighborsLink, 27 Columbus Ave, Mount Kisco, NY 10549