Today, communities in California are paying increasing attention to promoting fiscal stability and economic development. Lewis Center scholars have worked to educate all levels of government officials and convey critical information to the general public about the effects of economic and development policies. Since 1990, the Lewis Center has released dozens of quantitative policy studies that have had real influence on local, regional, and state policies.
The local housing market is an important factor in economic development, and a lack of affordable housing can negatively affect a community's overall economic health, make low-cost labor scarce, and increase demands on transportation systems when workers are forced to travel longer distances between their jobs and homes. These trends also affect other public services such as schools.
Lewis Center research on economic development includes also the areas of infrastructure investment, such as highways, parks, affordable housing, and crime prevention; and specific efforts in neighborhood development, small business development, business retention and expansion, technology transfer, and real estate development.