IN THE MEDIA
Derek often provides provocative commentary in mainstream media outlets on housing and economic development challenges in urban American.
The Washington Post
February 18, 2021
“The affordable crisis didn’t happen because of Amazon,” Hyra says. But the amount promised, he adds, “is a drop in the bucket of the affordable housing needs of the area.” Those needs will greatly intensify as Amazon’s highly paid workers flood into the area, and they will be felt most acutely by those with the lowest incomes."
The New York Times
January 10, 2021
"Whether statehood might follow seems a long shot at best. But as supporters say, stranger things have happened — as recently as Wednesday, in fact. “It’s not going to be easy,” said Derek Hyra, a professor at American University in Washington who specializes in the city’s development and politics. “But I never thought you’d have a group of right-wing people storm the Capitol and be able to get in. I think anything is possible.”
December 12, 2020
"Boulder is doing a lot of things right. Many of the policies Hyra referenced as ways to combat inequality are already in place here: a strong affordable housing program, community benefit requirements for developers, subsidized space for small businesses. But all the beneficial programs in the world mean nothing without an equal and fervent focus on housing, Hyra said. That means not only building units, but making sure people can afford to live in them."
The New York Times
October 30, 2020
“The situation in 2020 has drawn comparisons to protests in the 1960s, but Derek Hyra, an associate professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University, said recent unrest had been more geographically widespread, affecting a wider swath of businesses. “Most of the rioting and burning in the 1960s happened within the geography of low-income Black spaces,” Mr. Hyra said. “In the 2020 unrest, more of it happened in downtown and affluent areas. “It’s not just urban America,” he added. “The protests have been in the suburbs, they’ve been in rural areas.”
The Washington Post
October 15, 2020
"In D.C. and its suburbs, the pandemic has fueled a real estate boom as families yearn for more space and younger professionals look to upgrade. Though the rate of millennial workers moving to the metro area was slowing even before the outbreak, its entertainment venues, cultural activities, restaurants, outdoor spaces and public transit tend to attract a highly educated and skilled workforce, despite the high cost of living, said Derek Hyra, a professor at American University and the head of the school’s Metropolitan Policy Center."
Washington Business Journal
October 15, 2020
"Black businesses got 3% of 7(a) loan dollars in 2019. American University researchers Derek Hyra and Meghan Doughty concluded several factors caused the collapse, including the impact of predatory lending on Black homeowners; smaller loan sizes sought by Black businesses when banks are increasingly lending larger amounts; and a decline in loans in low-income neighborhoods.
Hyra and Doughty made several recommendations, including reducing borrower fees and increasing guarantees. Hyra said the recommendations haven't been adopted. "We had one meeting at the [Obama] White House," Hyra said. "I didn't see any of the recommendations that we made take hold within the SBA. I don't think things have changed much."
The Mortgage Note
July 21, 2020
Even if there was a mass migration out of cities, an American University professor said it’s likely that a vaccine and an economic recovery would lead to people moving back to the urban areas. “The urban equation has shifted,” said Derek Hyra, a professor in the school’s Department of Public Administration and Policy. “It was mass amenities for small, expensive square footage, and that works for people for a long time. That’s not necessarily the case anymore.”
July 15, 2020
“During the early days of COVID in places like New York City, you saw affluent people going to their second homes, leaving for Long Island. And then there are those people with kids who have to get in an elevator to go to a crowded park, they just want a backyard,” says Derek Hyra, a professor at American University in Washington, D.C., where he focuses on neighborhood change. “Naturally, we question if these people are truly going to leave the city. Once we get a vaccine, will they come back? These are questions that have yet to be answered.”
July 5, 2020
"We can certainly say that the unequal treatment of suspects we are witnessing today is partly related to the way African Americans have been treated here for centuries. To justify slavery, the United States had to dehumanize black people, fear them, and say they were not as intelligent as whites, ”Hyra explains.
July 1, 2020
“These challenges are so complex that they will not likely be solved through any single interdisciplinary lens,” Hyra said. “Nor will, a single inner scope disciplinary lens, be sufficient and enough to understand the complexities of the world. So, to bring together people in sociology, public policy, anthropology, business and communication is really important because people are trained to look at problems in different ways.”
June 15, 2020
By all indications, this second group of movers is far larger than those who have abruptly decided to flee. “There was this movement already of people starting to move out of the high-cost cities like San Francisco, New York, and Washington, D.C.,” Derek Hyra, a demographer at American University and the head of the school’s Metropolitan Policy Center, told me. Cities such as Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; and Nashville, Tennessee have picked up significant population gains because of their relatively affordable real-estate markets, Hyra said, ripe for house flipping and gentrification.
June 1, 2020
"The Trump administration's politics is a politics of divisiveness, it's a politics of scapegoating, and his comments so far related to the civil unrest has only exacerbated and fueled frustrations," said Derek Hyra, a political scientist at American University who is writing a book on race, politics and inequality.
September 11, 2019
"Derek Hyra, an American University professor who studies neighborhood change, wrote about the complex issues around dog parks. He notes the Chevy Chase fight wasn’t about the usual debates — resources or new people moving in — it was about who had more political power. But that’s not usually the case, he said. Hyra says when communities debate amenities, such as dog parks, it can get contentious. 'It’s not so much about the pet, or the park, it’s about who controls space in a community. And I think that dog parks and different public amenities really symbolize and represent who does and who does not have the power in particular communities.'"
Washington City Paper
August 29, 2019
"As crime rates began to decrease in the ’90s and early 2000s, groups such as Cultural Tourism DC began what Hyra calls “black branding” with offerings such as the African American Heritage Trail. WMATA began selling properties near Metro stations that were redeveloped into high-end residential properties such as the Ellington apartments, named after African American jazz composer Duke Ellington, at 1301 U Street NW. The proliferation of jobs throughout the D.C. region after the recession prompted white millennials, who had already begun entering the city in years prior, to come in droves, according to Hyra’s research."
Bisnow Dallas-Forth Worth
June 3, 2019
"Housing unaffordability used to be limited to places like New York and Washington, D.C., but is now hitting other U.S. markets, said Derek Hyra, an associate professor with the School of Public Affairs at American University who has been studying gentrification nationwide."
April 18, 2019
"However, sociologist Derek Hyra suggests immigration trends may not be a main driver of gentrification. Instead, he wonders if all people, including blacks, whites and recent immigrants from Asia and Latin America, are simply following new jobs that happen to be located near historically black neighborhoods."
April 17, 2019
"In his book, Race, Class, Politics in the Cappuccino City, American University sociologist Derek Hyra focuses on the cultural and political transformation of Shaw. While the current iteration of the neighborhood advertises its cultural diversity—there’s an apartment complex named after Langston Hughes and a cocktail bar named after Marvin Gaye—that diversity is largely superficial, he writes. Newcomers, often more affluent than existing residents, often don’t understand the culture, rituals, needs, and background of the community they are joining, stoking resentment."
The Washington Post
April 19, 2019
"Like the Ellington, named for Duke Ellington, on U Street, they’re examples of what urban-policy expert Derek Hyra has called “black branding” — a controversial trend within a trend in Washington that taps black culture to sell to white newcomers."
The Virginia Mercury
April 21, 2019
"Hyra, who made the aforementioned presentation to the Housing Commission, says that Republicans are right that localities should dedicate money to affordable housing. But he said the state needs to chip in, too, because the need is great and the problem is growing around the state, not just in Northern Virginia. He pointed to a study released earlier this year by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition that placed three Virginia metro areas — Washington, D.C. (which includes Northern Virginia), Virginia Beach and Richmond – among the 10 “most intensely” gentrified."
April 5, 2019
"Many young people aren’t interested in living in a community of high-rise condo towers like Crystal City, says Hyra, who studies gentrification. Many will end up in Arlandria and other nearby communities. “My feeling is that many of Amazon’s workers won’t choose to be directly in Crystal City, because of its sterile, corporate feel,” he says. Regan-Levine says Crystal City will be more attractive after the redevelopment, with trendy restaurants and coffee shops, as well as new parks."