Mother Nature took its toll on many regions of the United States in 2011.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in mid- January, a record 14 weather and climate events in 2011—from a blizzard, a hurricane, a tropical storm, and floods to extreme drought, a heat wave, wildfires, and a slew of tornado outbreaks—caused an economic impact of $1 billion or more as well as the loss of human lives. This wasn't including the Northeast's pre- Halloween snowstorm, which was still being analyzed.

The natural catastrophes that struck the United States in 2011 generated more than $32 billion in direct insured losses, the fifth most expensive year on record, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

And the federal government made 99 disaster declarations following these calamities, breaking the previous record of 81 in 2010.

In this issue of AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE, we look at two affordable seniors housing developments that were impacted by this wild weather. Atlanta-based TBG Residential's Chastain Manor in Tuscaloosa, Ala., was decimated during an April tornado outbreak in the Southeast, and two residents died. One month later, Mercy Housing's Mercy Village was badly damaged in the May tornado that devastated the city of Joplin, Mo.

Both owners sprang to action with their residents at the forefront of their minds. With perseverance and a cando attitude, they started rebuilding immediately. You can read their stories starting on page 32.

Also in this issue, AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE shares its survey results of the major players on both sides of the debt and equity equations.

The surveys revealed that the comeback that started in 2010 continued in 2011, and there was a lot for developers and owners to cheer about, including historically low interest rates and improvements in housing tax credit pricing.

The survey of 23 national and regional syndicators found that the average price paid to developers in the fourth quarter of 2011 was about $0.87 per dollar of tax credit, a nearly 18 percent increase from the $0.74 reported by syndicators a year earlier. For a review of the low-income housing tax credit equity market in 2011 and syndicators' predictions for 2012, see story on page 17.

On the lending side, a number of private and public lenders grew their market share and started new programs. To view the Top 25 lenders of affordable housing and how they fared in 2011, see story on page 23.

Don't delay, nominations for AHF's Readers' Choice Awards are due March 30. Please consider nominating your outstanding developments that were completed in 2011 or that will be completed in 2012.

The nomination form as well as judging criteria can be found at