CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A man who has called the city of Charlottesville home his whole life now owns a little piece of it.

Thanks to the help of Habitat for Humanity, Kendall Dennis is officially a new homeowner in Charlottesville. On Saturday, his family, friends, and community members gathered for the home’s official dedication.

Habitat for Humanity helps to rebuild and restore homes for families across the Charlottesville area. However, the group’s president said Saturday’s dedication was particularly special as the homeowner grew up just a few steps from his new home.

“It feels good to finally be able to own your own home, to actually grow up in a home and to live down on Hardy Drive so that means a lot,” Dennis said.

For Dennis, Habitat for Humanity gave him more than just a house.

“It’s been a good process,” Dennis said. “I’ve been working on it probably at least twice a month if I could.”

It’s a home he helped restore for himself and his daughter, Dior.

“I want to tell everybody thank you very much and I appreciate everything they did to help me get when I’m at,” Dennis said.

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity purchased the home and worked tirelessly for months to get it ready for the big day.

“At Habitat, we believe that people should be able to move up without having to move out and this is a really special home dedication for us because Kendall grew up in this neighborhood,” said Dan Rosenweig of Habitat for Humanity.

During the home’s dedication, Mayor Nikuyah Walker also delivered remarks, emphasizing the city’s need for more affordable housing. She added that those who work and grew up in Charlottesville should be able to afford to live there.

“We really strongly believe that people who grew up in the neighborhoods should have the opportunity to stay as homeowners, and we’re really grateful that we’ve had an opportunity as he’s realized his dream,” Rosenweig said.

Now that his dream home is ready, Dennis said he will be moving in within the next few weeks.

“Without Habitat, I really wouldn’t be able to move in here, so I just want to say thanks to everybody that helped out,” Dennis said.

The project has been in the works on and off since January. A bulk of the time was spent purchasing and getting rights to the home. 

The home’s actual rehabilitation and restoration took about five months.