Hundreds of First Coast residents still sheltering in FEMA-funded hotel rooms won’t be tossed out over the holidays, FEMA officials said Monday.

FEMA has since Hurricane Irma put up hundreds of Jacksonville-area individuals and families in hotel rooms while their hurricane-damaged homes are repaired or replaced.

As of Dec. 1, 504 people in the five-county region were still using FEMA’s hotel assistance, including 345 people in Duval County.

FEMA announced it is extending its deadlines for checkout for most of these residents until Jan. 7, instead of Dec. 3. FEMA said it is contacting the people who are eligible for the extension.

It’s too late for people who haven’t already applied for this kind of help. The deadlines for applying passed Nov. 24.

FEMA pays for one hotel room per four or fewer family members. Larger families can get one more room per four family members, as long as one of those members is 18 or older.

“Participants in the program will receive a phone call telling them whether they are eligible for the extension and what they need to do to remain at their current hotel or find a new hotel,” said Angela Byrd, a FEMA spokeswoman.

Beyond temporary housing, FEMA is trying to hire a few people in the Jacksonville area to help it provide services to hurricane survivors, Byrd said. Specifically it seeks people with experience in floodplain management, cost analysis, civil engineering, site inspections, flood or casualty insurance, or historic preservation, she said.

To apply go to and search using the keyword Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Denise Smith Amos: 904-359-4083

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