You’re going to need to pack your sunscreen today as temperatures are expected in the high 90s.

Speaking of hot, the housing market has been blistering, with people offering thousands over the asking price, waving inspections, and more to land that dream home. Now, it appears that the same energy has hit rentals.

And, the city is preparing efforts to digitize COVID-19 vaccination cards. But there are some who wonder the worth of going through all that trouble at this stage of the pandemic.

Personally, I’ve been craving a good burger. Shoutout to my colleagues for providing 17 of Philly’s Best. ✨

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

The ultra-competitive housing market has reached rentals

The rental market has now become a survival of the fittest.

And by “fittest,” we mean people with pristine credit scores are still considering paying hundreds over asking as low supply and rising inflation have turned renting into a veritable bidding war.

“We had people paying 50% to 60% of their income for housing,” Rachel Falkove, executive director of the homelessness prevention and services nonprofit Family Promise of Philadelphia, formerly known as Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network, “and the rates are going way up.”

Nationwide, the median rent reached $1,827 in April, up 21% from April 2020 and almost 17% from April 2021, according to a report. It’s on track to pass $2,000 by August. April marked the 14th straight month of record-high median rents.

In the Philadelphia metro area, the median rent is $1,775, up almost 8% from last year. It’s a major reason why our reporter Michaelle Bond takes this timely look at the state of renting across the region.

Also, we’re sharing:

🏠 Why some small-scale rental property owners are choosing to leave the business and list their rentals for sale, and

🏠 What you need to look for before you sign a lease in Pennsylvania.

What you should know today

Digital COVID-19 vaccine cards are coming to Philly. Some wonder why

You read that correctly. The city is implementing a system that would allow residents to have a digital version of their COVID-19 vaccine card.

And despite ending its mandate for indoor dining in February – a sector of which fairly, this would not only be limited to – and no plans to renew any of its COVID-19 safety restrictions, digital cards could be here soon.

In fact, holding up the rollout is what the city cited as technical issues.

Some businesses do still require customers to prove vaccination, as do many employers and schools, said Matt Rankin, a spokesperson for the city’s health department, who added that the digital proof of vaccination would also be helpful as people get booster shots.

But not everyone sees the need for a digital version of the vaccination card as the best use of city resources and funding. There’s also the issue of privacy and, some say, the level of interest from the public.

If you’re interested in how this differs from a picture of your vaccination card saved to your smartphone favorites, our reporters Kasturi Pananjady and Jason Laughlin explore in their latest.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

Did you happen to see any drones or weird-looking robots riding, flying or meandering around the city recently? It was probably in part because of Pennovation, a massive engineering conference that brought scores of roboticists and others to Philly to talk about the future of artificial intelligence. Today’s question: Do you know how many roboticists were in Philly? Take a guess and find the answer here.

a. 2,500

b. 3,000

c. 3,500

d. 4,500

What we’re…

🤦 Wondering: Why does anyone need a cache of explosives down the Shore?

📚 Reading: This inspiring opinion piece from this Philly teacher in response to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

🦠 Realizing: COVID-19 is just going to keep coming back, again and again ... and again.

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

🤣 A really funny guy.


Think you know? Send your guess our way at We’ll give a shoutout to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shoutout goes to Lisa Powell who correctly guessed SEA ISLE CITY as Monday’s answer as she was vacationing in Sea Isle City.

Photo of the day

Stay cool today, Philly. I’ll catch you tomorrow. ✌️