June 15, 2016 Brown Bag Lunch Forum: The County Housing Plan, Updates, and Progress
In 2012, the First Suburbs Consortium submitted a white paper outlining the need for the County to undertake a housing study and plan. The County Council responded by funding a housing study that was carried out by the County Planning Commission and Cleveland State University’s Levin College. The County Executive also appointed Ken Surrat as the County’s Housing point person within the Department of Development. Stakeholders have had a number of opportunities to have input to the plan, including the formation of working groups to guide the different sections of the plan. At this Brown Bag, Ken Surratt, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Revitalization, provided an update on the components of the plan, how they relate to other County-wide priorities and initiatives and a “deep dive” into two of the plan elements: Access to Capital and Fair Housing. He also discussed efforts among communities to collaborate on code enforcement, a key area of interest for collaboration identified in the County Planning Commission-Cleveland State University housing study. Q and A, moderated by Molly Schnoke, followed the presentation
Ken Surratt, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Revitalization for Cuyahoga County
Ken Surratt is currently the Deputy Director of Housing and Community Revitalization for Cuyahoga County, Ohio's largest county. Surratt is working to create a county-wide housing plan that will look to improve the housing conditions for residents and revitalize neighborhoods. Before his current position, Surratt served as the Acting Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations under former County Executive, Ed FitzGerald, and oversaw the fiscal, information technology, human resources and public words departments. Prior to that role he served as a Special Assistant, focusing on education initiatives and launched one of the largest public college savings account programs in the country, where incoming kindergarten students in Cuyahoga County received a savings account with an initial deposit of $100 from the County.
Prior to joining Cuyahoga County, Surratt served as the Chief Financial Officer of Breakthrough Charter Schools, a high-performing network of charter schools sponsored by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. As the CFO, Surratt was responsible for managing the network's $25 million budget as well as overseeing the information technology and compliance aspects of the schools. Surratt has also served as the Assistant Director of CREDO (Center for Research on Education Outcomes), based at Stanford University. CREDO is a leading independent voice in the discussion of how to improve education in America, with an emphasis on rigorous program and policy analysis as the means of informing and improving education decision making.Surratt's additional experience in the education sector includes his position as a Policy Analyst with San Francisco's Unified School district, his position as Manager of School Inspections and Business Operations Manager with Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), the largest national charter school network.
Outside of the education sector, Surrat has worked with IBM Global Services in the DC area and the Cleveland Office of Arthur Andersen. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with concentrations in Accounting and Management from the University of Virginia and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business.