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Spirit Lake Tribe, North Dakota

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The tribal Housing Authority is building a demonstration home using nontraditional construction, in hopes of easing a housing crunch. Officials said the walls are made of insulated panels rather than studs and insulation like most homes. Some contractors question the stability of the panels, but the company that designs them says they're strong and energy efficient. Tribal officials said they like the house style because it is cheaper and takes less time to build than traditional homes. "The overall mission is to address the housing problems on Spirit Lake,'' said Jerry Cavanaugh, a spokesman for the Housing Authority. "This just gives us another way than the traditional methods of getting houses up.'' If the demonstration home proves itself, four or five more might be built on the reservation if federal funding comes through, officials said.