A record number of rental housing units were approved for construction in 2013, according to the City of Vancouver.

This year, 1,097 rental units were approved compared with 1,021 units approved in 2012. No units were approved in 2008 and 2009, and an average of 328 units were approved in 2010 and 2011.

The last two years were also record years for new laneway housing permits, which are required to be made into rental units. 348 permits were issued in 2013 following 350 issued in 2012. Just 18 were issued in 2009, followed by 192 in 2010 and 229 in 2011.

The push for new rental units is part of the city's goal to address a lack of affordable housing, the city says.

"City Hall remains focused on enabling new rental housing to help people who can't afford to buy in Vancouver, particularly seniors, students, and young families," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson in a statement.

More than half of Vancouver households are renters, according to the city.