Los Angeles is experiencing a homelessness epidemic with the number of unhoused people rising 75% over the past six years.
About 54,000 of the city’s four million residents are currently experiencing homelessness and the root cause is the city’s lack of affordable housing. According to LAist, since 2000, renter incomes have decreased by 3% while rents have gone up 32%.
The city recently created a quarter-cent increase in its sales tax to fund programs to help house these residents, but encampments are still popping up throughout the city.
Venice Beach, a swanky West L.A. neighborhood famous for its eccentric residents, has seen one of the largest increases in unhoused people.
Venice Beach resident Johnny Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten), lead vocalist of iconic punk groups Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd, has become fed up with the unhoused people in his neighborhood and has even called the cops on them.
“They moved in en masse. They’re all young, they’re all like 24,” Rotten told Newsweek. “They’re aggressive, and because there’s an awful lot of them together they’re gang-y.”
He recently called the police on some people for setting up an encampment in front of his house. “They came over the gate and put their tent inside, right in front of the front door. It’s like… the audacity,” he complained.
Rotten’s outrage is ironic, given the fact he penned the authority-bashing classic “Anarchy in the U.K.”
People on social media are bashing Lydon for what appears to be hypocritical coming from a man who once said, “If you give me the chance, I’ll destroy America for you.”
It’s hypocritical. Johnny Rotten made a living off the bad behavior he deplores in others. Now he surprised when it turns out it’s not the fashion statement he tried to make of it. It’s just rich, that’s all.
While it’s easy to point a finger at Rotten for betraying his punk image, he’s dealing with serious personal issues. His wife Nora Forster is in the mid-stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Lydon says his wife is “struggling to cope” with the influx of vagrants.
Lydon insists he’s not a hypocrite.
“No, I’m a bloke that’s worked hard for his money and I expect to be able to use my own front door,” he said in his usual blunt matter.