Jim Edmonds

2022 Good Neighbor Awards Winner

Emerald Isle Properties
Kilauea, Hawaii

Kaua’i is known to much of the country as an idyllic vacation destination, but many locals are being pushed out. Half of all homes sold on Kaua’i in 2021 were purchased by nonlocals as vacation homes or investment rentals. As of mid-August, there were only 26 homes priced under $1 million for sale, and apartment rentals cost $1,300 per bedroom per month. Affordable housing has all but disappeared, forcing many to leave the island where generations of their families once thrived. Jim Edmonds realized that he needed to become part of the solution, so he founded the nonprofit PAL Kaua’i–Permanently Affordable Living in 2018 to develop affordable housing units for purchase and for rental. PAL Kaua’i, which has raised $16.5 million and launched a construction company, opened a 13-unit apartment building in May and has 45 single-family homes under construction.All of PAL’s projects include cost-saving amenities, such as solar energy, edible landscaping, shared electric vehicles and charging stations and bicycles. PAL’s mission includes providing support to the local households of police, firefighters and teachers who struggle to make ends meet but whose dual incomes disqualify them from assistance. “This little island has the worst homeless crisis in America. This is a full- blown tragedy,” says Edmonds. “We know a lady who bought a bigger car so she and her two daughters could live in it. [But] the politics are changing because everybody knows friends or relatives who are leaving.”

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