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HUD   >   Press Room   >   Press Releases   >   2011   >   HUDNo.11-238
HUD No. 11-238
Lemar Wooley
(202) 708-0685
FOR RELEASE
Monday
October 3, 2011

HUD APPROVES $210 MILLION MORTGAGE TO FINANCE MAJOR CONSTRUCTION AT ACUTE CARE HOSPITAL IN COLUMBUS, GEORGIA

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced a commitment to insure a mortgage loan to St. Francis Hospital in Columbus, Georgia. The $210 million loan is made possible through the Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Section 242 Hospital Mortgage Insurance Program.

St. Francis Hospital operates a 376-bed hospital and a 60-bed assisted living facility. The FHA-insured mortgage loan will be used to renovate a portion of the existing facility, construct a new patient tower and medical office building, purchase new equipment, and refinance a $50 million debt. The new facilities will convert the hospital to primarily private rooms, double the size of its emergency room, create a state-of-the-art dedicated cardiovascular unit, and create office space on the hospital campus to house its physician centers of excellence.

"FHA is helping to build and update state-of-the-art health care facilities like this all across the country," said FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante. "By helping to make these projects possible, FHA also contributes to the financial well-being of communities by creating jobs and supporting local economies."

HUD estimates the St. Francis Hospital construction project will support nearly 1,700 full-time jobs and provide an economic boost of more than $389 million to the community. Once completed, it is estimated the project will provide an annual economic benefit of more than $9 million. HUD's estimates are based on results from an economic model used by public and private institutions to examine a variety of economic development issues.

By insuring the mortgage loan, FHA is enabling the hospital to obtain lower cost financing that will save an estimated $65 million in interest costs over the life of the loan. Since 1968, FHA has insured 400 mortgage loans totaling $17.4 billion to hospitals in 43 states and Puerto Rico.

FHA's Section 242 Mortgage Insurance Program for Hospitals provides HUD-insured mortgages made by private lending institutions to finance construction or renovation of acute care hospitals including major equipment needed to operate the facility. Eligible applicants can be public, proprietary, or nonprofit hospitals certified by the responsible State agency.

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