The real estate direct-investing arm of Los Angeles–based investment management firm Canyon Partners has launched a new real estate fund in partnership with CIT Bank.

Canyon Partners Real Estate announced on Jan. 4 the start of the Canyon Multifamily Impact Fund (CMIF) III to continue the company’s investment activity in affordable workforce housing. The fund is positioned to acquire and manage up to $90 million in workforce apartment communities throughout Southern California that serve low- to moderate-income residents. It’s the third fund in Canyon’s workforce housing platform dedicated to advancing community development and embracing environmental responsibility.

“We’re pleased to partner with Canyon to provide affordable market-rate multifamily housing in Southern California,” said Michael Pedone, managing director, CIT Real Estate Finance, in a statement. “Canyon is a strong sponsor with a track record of investing in real estate and CRA-qualified multifamily property, and we look forward to partnering with their experienced management team on this important initiative.”

According to Canyon, a core initiative of the new fund will be to implement social programs through a variety of education, health-care, and community initiatives designed to benefit both residents and the communities in which they live and work. On-site programs may include after-school tutoring, financial education, employment assistance, health services, community sports activities, and partnerships with local agencies and community groups. The fund will also invest capital in property improvements through targeted, meaningful, physical upgrades and management initiatives geared toward enhancing day-to‐day operations, environmental sustainability, and the quality of life of residents.

Rick Lieber, senior vice president, CIT, said in the same statement, “Helping to create and maintain housing that is affordable in Southern California is a key priority for CIT Bank, as the region has suffered a significant shortage in the last several years. We are particularly proud to participate in this innovative structure that will rely upon private, not government, funding to serve our community’s needs.”

Canyon’s existing Multifamily Impact Funds (CMIF I and II) have been positioned to acquire and improve $500 million worth of workforce multifamily properties. To date, the funds have invested in more than 3 million square feet, representing over 3,700 units.