AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE's Capital Markets Outlook 2009 comes at uncertain times, and, unfortunately, the forecast isn't bright. Some call 2008 the toughest year yet for affordable housing and say that 2009 is not going to look much better.

Low-income housing tax credit pricing is expected to decline further, and debt financing will continue to be hard to obtain. Industry experts, lenders, syndicators, investors, and developers share their thoughts on what 2009 will hold for the affordable housing industry, starting on page 22.

As this issue goes to press, I continue to hear about more layoffs and foreclosures. Over the last week, I saw news articles about the growing number of homeless families in Massachusetts and California's Central Valley. And they aren't alone.

We can't have affordable housing production stall when Americans need it the most. We can only hope the next presidential administration recognizes the need of America's low- and moderate-income households and makes it a priority.

It's more important now than ever to share strong examples of affordable housing with local, state, and federal legislators. Some of these extraordinary developments have been named winners of the AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE Readers' Choice Awards. These top developments of 2007-2008 serve a diverse group. Starting on page 30, you'll read about the projects, the people they serve, and how they benefit their communities.

The overall winner this year is Broadway Crossing, a Seattle development created by Capitol Hill Housing. A married couple and their son moved into the development after years of living in shelters and motels while struggling with addiction. The stable environment helped the couple to maintain sobriety and get jobs, allowing them to then move into unsubsidized housing.

More than 40,000 children in Connecticut live with grandparents, and Hartford-based Community Renewal Team, Inc., is doing its part to provide housing and services for this specific demographic. Hartford Grandfamily Housing Development—winner for best family project—provides 24 apartments for grandparents raising their grandchildren and 16 apartments for seniors.

The winner in the urban category— Railton Place in San Francisco—is a great example of serving some of the neediest. The Salvation Army created 113 units in the Tenderloin neighborhood for young adults aging out of foster care, and chronically homeless adults and veterans. Evans House in Seattle, the special-needs winner, also serves a group that is hard to house. The Downtown Emergency Service Center is also trying to serve the chronically homeless, but also has 35 units reserved for people who have just been released from a state psychiatric hospital.

We want to hear about the projects that you completed in 2008 and plan to complete in 2009. Entries for next year's AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE Readers' Choice Awards will be available at Jan. 1, 2009. If there's something you want to see on these pages to help you do business or if you want to share how you're handling the downturn.