An Elbern Avenue residence is the latest Habitat for Humanity project in Whitehall following the construction of numerous such homes as the city strives to revamp its residential housing stock.

An Elbern Avenue residence is the latest Habitat for Humanity project in Whitehall following the construction of numerous such homes as the city strives to revamp its residential housing stock.

Habitat for Humanity Greater Columbus officials, volunteers and the Talla family, who will reside at the residence, were among those who had gathered for a commencement ceremony May 19.

The ceremony was a kickoff for the start of several months of labor that will be invested in refurbishing the Whitehall residence. The ceremony was one of three held at various locations for the start of the latest Habitat for Humanity projects.

New Albany Habitat Partnership and Discover Card are sponsoring the rebuilding project of the residence in the 4000 block of Elbern Avenue, a residence that had been foreclosed upon.

The project is in partnership with the Franklin County Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Tom Hancock, co-chairman of the New Albany Habitat Partnership's project committee, was among those gathered May 19 to join the Talla family in the realization of their dream of homeownership.

It is the sixth Habitat for Humanity project for New Albany Habitat Partnership, but the first for which it is the primary sponsor.

The New Albany Habitat Partnership comprises members of the New Albany Presbyterian Church, including Hancock.

"During the past year, we raised $50,000, the amount required for a renovation project," Hancock said.

New builds require sponsoring partners to raise $100,000. The New Albany Habitat Partnership has been involved as contributor to new-build projects but opted to tackle a rebuild project in its first endeavor as a primary sponsor.

Hancock has been involved in numerous past projects.

"It's something different every project and each day," said Hancock, who has learned many do-it-yourself skills, including hanging drywall installing flooring, painting and carpentry.

"I can do a little bit of everything," he said.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers work every Saturday at a given site, performing many types of the work. Project experts teach the volunteers how to perform various tasks and projects.

"We all teach one another a variety of home improvement skills," Hancock said.

Licensed contractors perform electrical wiring and plumbing during the week.

The benefiting family also is required to perform some of the work, known as "sweat equity," and is required to do the same for other Habitat for Humanity recipients as a requirement for selection.

For now, Mohamadou and his wife, Binetou, live with their two sons and daughter at a Courtright Drive apartment.

"I'm very happy, very excited," Mr. Talla said about moving into their own house.

Talla works for Tiger Poly, a provider of materials to Honda of America. He came to the United States from Senegal in western Africa about 15 years ago.

He and his wife will help remodel their new house over summer.

The New Albany Habitat Partnership comprises about eight members, all New Albany residents, who will spend the next four to five months working at the Elbern Avenue site.