The federal low-income housing tax credit is one of the most effective tools ever created for financing the development of affordable housing. Enacted in 1986 as a way to encourage private investment, the credit has helped fund more than 2.7 million new homes that are affordable to low-income families, the formerly homeless, the elderly, the mentally handicapped and others with special needs. It supports 90 percent of all affordable rental housing developments and creates more than 150,000 jobs each year.