I'D LIKE ANY of the mayoral candidates to address the needs of the "not-so-poor" people of Philadelphia.

Recent news reports say that there is no more middle class - and I agree. Because I earn about 50k a year, I don't qualify as low-income, but am far from wealthy.

I'd like to purchase one of the many new homes being built in this city, but they start at 200k, and that is out of my budget. The homes being built by Philadelphia Housing Authority are nice, too, but I can't buy one of those because I only have two people in my household (myself and one child), and I am above PHA's income guidelines.

It seems as if all the assistance programs are for those who don't work and have four or more children. It makes me angry to see them living in these new houses when they have done nothing but make bad choices.

They're home asleep when I'm leaving for work, and sitting on the steps doing nothing when I come home.

I struggle to pay my entire gas bill every month and most of them get LIHEAP and other grant programs. I guess I should quit my job and have three more kids in order to get ahead in this city.

Diane Madison

Philadelphia