County Announces First Round of Recommended Awards for Property Demolition Program
Emily Lundgard, (216) 348-4395
Jeane’ Holley, (216) 698-2544 20
20 Communities Recommended for Award
CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish recommends 20 communities for approval in the first round of the Cuyahoga County Property Demolition Program. The Cuyahoga County Property Demolition Program is used to fund demolition of unsalvageable residential and commercial properties throughout the county to strengthen existing communities, accelerate property value growth, and restore neighborhoods.
“Addressing vacant and distressed properties is an urgent issue throughout Cuyahoga County,” said Budish. “We are committed to working with communities and housing advocates, side-by-side, to eliminate blight, promote redevelopment, and ultimately, create stronger neighborhoods.”
The Budish Administration identified $14 million, previously allocated for an upgraded data center, to fund the first round of awards. In 2014, the Department of Information Technology planned to pay an estimated $30 million over 25 years for an upgraded data center in the Medical Examiner’s Office. In early 2015 though, the State of Ohio announced availability of their data center at the much lower estimate of $9.5 million over 25 years. If Council approves, the County will establish a contract with the State of the Ohio, saving taxpayer dollars on an upgraded data center as well as freeing up an estimated $14 million in capital funds that can be reallocated to the Property Demolition Program.
“This first round of demolition will remove over 600 blighted, vacant and abandoned structures across the county, providing needed relief to our communities,” added County Council President Dan Brady. “I’d like to thank the County Executive and the County Land Bank for their support in making this program a reality, and I look forward to continuing the momentum that has already begun.”
Budish and Brady also stated that the County is committed to see the entire Program through, and announced that applications for the next round of funding will be accepted beginning on May 1, 2015.
22 communities applied to receive funding from the Property Demolition Program. Over $10 million will be awarded to 20 communities for a total of 619 structures to be demolished. This first round of recommended awards will address about 10% of the vacant properties throughout the various communities.
The Property Demolition Program, as well as, other housing related matters for the county will be overseen by Ken Surratt. As Deputy Director of Housing, Surratt will be responsible for creating an overarching, comprehensive housing plan for the County and coordinating all housing and foreclosure initiatives.
Surratt currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Operations. He received his BS from the University of Virginia in Commerce and his MBA from Duke University. Surratt previously served as the CFO for Breakthrough Charters Schools and Assistant Director of CREDO at Stanford University.