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Building homes on Shinnecock Nation often a struggle

The Shinnecock Nation is located in the Hamptons of Long Island, where some of the most expensive real estate and homes can be found.

But on the 800-acre reservation, building a home is a major struggle. The reservation is held in common so tribal members can't obtain mortgages for their plots of land. The median income on the reservation is only $14,055, so money for new homes is scarce.

Yet the difficulties don't stop people from realizing their dreams of homeownership. Michelle Johnson, 49, has been building a home since 1997. She only makes $340 a week working for the tribe but is proud to struggle in order to stay on the reservation.

Get the Story:
In a Basement, and Things Are Looking Up (The New York Times 7/7)

Relevant Links:
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