NEW ORLEANS – A developer wants to build a village of tiny house for the homeless in New Orleans East, however those who live where the proposed village would be are not on board with the idea.
The man who proposed the idea is Hayian Khan, the founder of Santosha.
“What we are trying to do is that build this healing village for people who were formally unhoused and really provide a way where people can deeply relax and they can start to heal and they have opportunities that truly serve them. So they can live a meaningful and fulfilling life,” Khan said.
However, residents do not agree and voiced their opinions at a community meeting on Saturday.
“New Orleans East cannot continue to be the ground which questionable business, questionable agencies come in, take root and think that we are okay with it, and we aren't okay with it,” one New Orleans East resident said.
Residents are concerned because the lot where the proposed village would be is four blocks away from a school. They are also worried that their property values will drop.
Khan says there are ways to screen residents and keep crime down and says that the village will not drop property values.
"I think it is much more psychological, than the actual points," Khan said.
However, Khan says he does understand where residents are coming from.
Councilman James Gray was at the meeting and said Khan cannot build anything until the city approves it.
“I pledged, first of all, to the community and I pledged to that young man, who proposed the project, if he got the reaction that he got, we were not going to let it happen. And it's not going to happen,” Gray said.
The next step for Khan is up in the air. Residents in the area say they just want the next step to be out of New Orleans East.
After the community meeting, residents did say they liked Khan’s idea, just not the location.