My area office was closed for almost the full month of November due to being understaffed. Hope they hire someone soon for your sake. It is strange they wouldn't forward your application to another specialist from a different area just to process it.
That sucks. You can change areas but the question is, does that delay the delay ? I would check with another office near your area and ask questions. The important thing is to get your certificate of eligibiity so you can put a contract on a house. One that's done, then your app will go to the area the house is in.
@Slushy - that is so awesome ! I wish I could get another lender but my student loans are at an income based repayment and FHA would take 1% of my loan as the payment amount and count that towards DTI. I would never be able to get a house on what I owe. Keep us posted on your progress and when you close !