The Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority has hired a Northeast Ohio native as its new executive director.

Brian M. Gage of Houston will take over from Tony O’Leary, who will be retiring after leading the organization for 25 years.

Gage, 44, will begin Aug. 13. He is currently senior policy adviser for the Houston Housing Authority. He was appointed to that position in 2012.

Gage was born in Cleveland, grew up in Parma and went to St. Francis de Sales in Parma for elementary school and St. Edward in Lakewood for high school.

Prior to going to Houston, Gage spent 10 years with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) both in Cleveland and in Washington, D.C.

He earned his bachelor of arts in political science at Cleveland State University. He also earned a master of public administration from the Levin College of Urban Affairs and a juris doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, both schools at Cleveland State.

While at HUD, Gage contributed to regulatory reform efforts, provided technical assistance to housing agencies throughout the country and coordinated hurricane relief services in Texas.

He began his housing career as a presidential management fellow for HUD serving as a liaison to Congress on housing-related issues. He is a frequent speaker at national housing conferences and a member of several national housing organizations, with expertise in mixed housing finance and the redevelopment of public housing properties.

“I look forward to returning to Northeastern Ohio where my public service career began. I am truly excited to join AMHA and continue the legacy of success in addressing the housing needs of the community,” Gage said in a news release.

AMHA Board Chair John C. Fickes said: “The board is very pleased to bring to our authority a person of Brian Gage’s talent and experience. We believe that as AMHA’s new executive director, Brian will sustain our long record of success in providing affordable housing and services to the greater Akron community. Brian was selected from a group of excellent candidates. We look forward to welcoming Brian and his family back to Northeast Ohio and to AMHA.”

O’Leary, 68, will stay on for a few weeks to transition when Gage arrives. O’Leary’s original retirement date was June 1, but he agreed to stay on as the board was completing its search for his replacement.

AMHA was founded 80 years ago as a public entity to provide affordable housing and social services to low-income residents throughout Summit County. The agency serves more than 22,000 people who qualify for federal housing assistance. AMHA is nationally recognized as a high performing agency and for its development of innovative programs for public housing residents.

Staff writer Betty Lin-Fisher can be reached at 330-996-3724 or Follow her @blinfisherABJ on Twitter or and see all her stories at