New York will use $20 million in federal funds to help pay for new, affordable rental units in storm-damaged areas such as Long Island, state officials said Wednesday.

Developers can seek the funds to construct rentals in Nassau, Suffolk and 31 other counties across the state that were damaged by major storms Sandy, Irene and Lee, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced.

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The state expects builders to construct 150 to 200 units in total, with at least half designated for those who earn less than 80 percent of the area median income. The projects will include new construction or rehabilitation of properties with eight to 20 apartments each, in low-density areas, state officials said in a news release.

The state is soliciting developers' proposals in two rounds, with deadlines on Nov. 2 and Dec. 31. Decisions will be announced by January.

The program will be funded by the state's $4.4 billion allotment from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development's block grant program.