Bobby Turner is buying apartments. Lots of them.

The former Canyon Capital Realty Advisors chief executive’s new firm, Santa Monica’s Turner Impact Capital, on Wednesday announced the launch of a fund that plans to acquire as much as $1 billion worth of apartment buildings in diverse urban neighborhoods.

According to a statement announcing the launch, the Turner Impact Multifamily Fund will target opportunities to acquire housing for workers making up to 80 percent of the area’s median income. The goal is to provide housing for those who earn too much to qualify for subsidized housing, but too little to afford a home or luxury apartment near their workplace – an increasingly larger group as house prices continue to accelerate and wages remain largely stagnant.

“Workforce housing is an overlooked segment of the real estate market with a significant mismatch in supply and demand that we believe offers a compelling investment opportunity,” Turner said in the statement. “We look forward to making change – both financial and societal – by acquiring and improving well-positioned properties that will offer a broader range of housing options for renters.”

Other investors in the fund include the University of Michigan endowment, Citi Community Capital and Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

This is not Turner’s first foray into urban real estate development. While at Century City’s Canyon, he partnered with Magic Johnson to form the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund, which focused on new developments in diverse urban neighborhoods.

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