CITY of York council is to spend £1.67 million buying new homes set to be built on a former pub site in York, in a bid to relieve the housing crisis in the city.

The council cabinet agreed a plan on Tuesday to pre-buy 14 one-bedroomed apartments on the site of the Pack of Cards pub in Lindsay Avenue in Acomb, as homes for people hit by the bedroom tax and older people downsizing from larger council houses, from RHW Developers.

The pub went on the market in September 2012 after it had been marketed as a business opportunities for several months without any buyers coming forward, cabinet member Cllr Tracy Simpson Laing told the meeting.

Now developers have applied for planning permission to build 14 flats on the site, and City of York Council has agreed to buy the flats before work has started or the plans have been approved.

York currently has 2,300 on council house waiting lists and the new flats should provide homes for the 480 of those who are currently in homes too big for them and free up those larger family homes, a report to the cabinet said.