Windsor homeowners will soon legally be able to build "second units" within their homes, and put them up as rental spaces.

Council has approved bylaw and zoning changes to allow secondary units, commonly referred to as "in-law suites."

Homeowners who are interested need to apply for a building permit to create the second unit, which will be subject to inspections.

The city wants people to take advantage of the rental space as a way to accommodate additional units and expand the range of housing options without adding any infrastructure.

“We’re trying to take the positive approach that this is another tool in the box to be able to afford some affordable housing to people,” says Marina Clemens, the chair of the city’s housing advisory committee.

But resident Caroline Taylor opposed the move, suggesting more renters will hurt neighbourhoods five to ten years down the road.

"A landlord moves in, he does not look after the lot, he does not look after the yard, nobody's looking after anything,” says Taylor. “It brings down the value of the homes around the rental."

A recent report for the city says there are more than 4,500 people on a waiting list for affordable housing.