Since 2003, Gary and the board have been setting those goals for the Nevada Rural Housing Authority. As Executive Director, Gary sets the vision for the organization and then goes about finding ways to bring that vision to fruition.
Gary got his start planning and leading in the military, where he had a 29-year career. He is an honor graduate of the United States Army Ranger School and the Nuclear Biological and Chemical School, and has received numerous awards and recognitions while on active duty and in the National Guard. Gary completed numerous stateside and oversea assignments, including two tours in Vietnam; one as a path finder and detachment commander and the second as an advisor for the Vietnamese. In 2009, Lieutenant Colonel Longaker was inducted into the United States Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame. Recognizing his strengths in operations, leadership, and management, a National Guard battalion commander recruited Gary to work with him at the newly formed Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) where he stayed for 15 years, guiding the organization to national prominence.
During his years at OHFA, and, later, as Executive Director of the Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation, Gary implemented numerous federal low-income housing programs, oversaw the issuance of over a billion dollars in tax-exempt single-family bond programs, and managed over half a billion dollars in new housing construction and rehabilitation funds. He turned around a troubled housing finance corporation, formed the first housing Consortium in Texas, and sponsored a statewide community housing development organization.
Gary has presided over NRHA as it developed the first operational statewide land trust in the nation, implemented four first-time homebuyer tax exempt bond programs, the first program of this kind that provided down payment assistance in the form of a grant, developed market-rate multi-family housing, and rehabilitated existing housing throughout rural Nevada. NRHA has been named a HUD High Performer ten years in a row and Public Housing Authority of the Year twice.
Under his leadership, NRHA has implemented the first Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program in the state. In 2014, NRHA entered into a partnership with Nevada Housing Division, bringing the MCC program to urban areas. (Recently, the program was changed to Mortgage Tax Credit.) NRHA was selected for a pilot program, called Access, which uses taxable bonds while still providing down payment assistance funding. The combination of all of these programs has resulted in NRHA helping over 3,000 families across 15 counties in Nevada, with nearly 1,500 coming from the Access program.
NRHA has also taken over programs of a bankrupt 501c3 and is now a leader in the weatherization program, in the four counties it serves. Gary’s dream of a comprehensive and in-depth housing study has been realized and is now serving as a template in assisting the cities and counties of Nevada to develop their long term planning and development goals.
A nationally recognized housing expert, Gary has served on the boards of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA), the National Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (NALHFA), and the Texas Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies (TALHFA), where he was named member of the year in 2000. Gary holds a B.A. and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Central State University in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Gary was born in Santa Monica, California, raised in New Mexico and Virginia, and lived in Oklahoma for 20+ years, where he raised his children. He now considers the Battle Born State his home, living in Dayton, Nevada with his best friend and wife, Lastenia. They have six grown children and nine grandchildren.