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One Man's Plan to Expand Cheap Housing and Make Money Doing It

Bobby Turner runs one of a new crop of funds investing in the low-income renter. Are they crazy?
Zumba at a community fair at the Regency Pointe Apartments, a Turner Impact property, in District Heights, Maryland, on Oct. 24.

Zumba at a community fair at the Regency Pointe Apartments, a Turner Impact property, in District Heights, Maryland, on Oct. 24.

Photographer: Drew Angerer/Bloomberg

On a recent afternoon in Prince George’s County, Maryland, a bleak economic trend met a tantalizing investment thesis.

Inside the community center at the Regency Pointe Apartments, a complex of 599 units set in low-slung buildings about 20 minutes from Washington, nurses from a nearby medical clinic were screening residents for cholesterol and high blood pressure. Just outside, a Zumba instructor was leading two dozen neighborhood children in an exercise class. A uniformed Sheriff’s Department officer looked on, chatting with residents and tracking police radio reports that a suspect wielding an AR-15 assault rifle was wandering nearby streets.