KITCHENER – Waterloo Region will be increasing its inventory of affordable housing over the next 10 years.

Regional council approved the plan, which will see a total of 638 new affordable homes in five different properties over that time frame.

The new housing is part of the region's housing master plan, which was developed over two years with community input.

"Transforming some of our aging buildings will help us address the growing wait list for community housing and the growing number of tenant requests to move to units that better meet their needs," says Mina Fayez-Baghat, manager of Waterloo Region Housing, in a news release.

"This project may also lead to more supports being available for tenants in their buildings and new employment opportunities or skill development for people living in WRH communities."

The master plan also aims to keep existing properties in good condition.

The region has built over 200 affordable housing units in the last five years. There are another 92 units under construction and another 61 in development.

The call for affordable housing comes as the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicts rental rates in the region will rise for the "foreseeable future."

Other cities like Guelph are considering turning to modular or tiny homes for affordable housing.

The City of Kitchener also passed a bylaw for tiny houses and granny flats to be built on residential properties in an effort to increase affordable options.