MORE than a dozen new flats could be bought by City of York Council to provide more affordable housing for residents.

The cabinet will consider approving the use of £1.68 million to buy 14 new flats to be built in Lindsey Avenue. The move would be part of its £20 million affordable housing programme.

The funds will come from the council's Housing Revenue Account business plan, approved by cabinet last May, which was earmarked for a first phase of up to 70 new council homes.

The eight two-bedroom and six one-bedroom flats, on the site of the former Pack of Cards pub, could be ready for council tenants aged 55 and over and looking to downsize by summer 2015.

Andy Kerr, the council's housing strategy manager, said evidence had shown that when trying to encourage people to downsize from what had often been "the long-standing family home", offering something new and purpose-built was vital.

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, cabinet member for homes, said: “The flats will be offered for social rent to council tenant households needing to downsize. This will form part of our city-wide drive to ensure much-needed larger homes are freed for use by growing families.”

The former pub site, on the corner of Sowerby Road, has been on the market as a development opportunity since summer 2012.

The site was auctioned last September, and bought by York-based RHW Development, who submitted planning applications in March, to be decided later this year.

The council is also creating downsizing schemes with housing association partners in Tang Hall, Huntington and Acomb, with one in Water Lane, Clifton expected to be ready by June.

Developments in Beckfield Lane, Chaloners Road, Fenwick Street and Newbury Avenue are also proposing apartments for people downsizing, although the Fenwick Street plan has sparked local opposition due to the flats being proposed on green space.

If the plans for the 14 new flats in Lindsey Avenue are approved in June, building could work to start this summer, and the council would pay for the properties in stages over the construction period.

The request to buy the freehold for the building will be put before the cabinet on May 6.