A comprehensive countywide housing policy study, reviewed by the Montgomery County Council at its Tuesday meeting, could determine what types of housing will be needed in the county during the next eight years and could set guidelines for public aid for housing.
According to the report, which has been circulated to the county executive, civic groups and county agencies during the past three months, 39,790 housholds, or 16.8 per cent of the county's projected 237,300 households for 1985, will need some form of assistance if their residents "are to live in standard, uncrowded housing they can afford."
The report, called the Housing Demands and Needs Analysis, is "a more definitive study" than the 1972 study on housing choices in the county, according to Gene Sieminski, director of the county's Office of Housing.
There are 47,470 low-and moderate-income households in the county - 25 per cent of all county households - as of 1976, according to the report, although not all of those households qualify for public assistane. Of the low-in-come households, 23,560 of them qualify for some form of assistance. There were 3,344 subsidized housing units in the county for 1976.
Council members expressed some worry over the accuracy of the study's definition of over-crowded housing as 1.01 persons per room in a house. "This is one of the problems with these aggregate statistics," admitted Morton Hoffmann, the consultant whose firm prepared the report, at the council meeting. "You really need to look at individual cases. It also depends on circumstances. One four-room house for four people might not be nearly as bad as another."
Before the county government actually draws up a housing policy, public hearings will be held and further study will be given to the housing report.
In other action at Tuesday's meeting, the deputy health officer for the county, Lewis Holder, told the council that the county's local health clinic in Poolesville could not be relocated to the Poolesville Junior-Senior High School. Residents of rural Pollesville in western Montgomery County had wanted to move the county health clinic, which now operates one day a week out of rented building space, to the health suite or infirmary at the high school.
Holder said this would conflict with the students' usage of the infirmiry. Holder said that the community's education classes about medical problems could still be held in the evenings at the high school.
"This is all very disappointing," council member Elizabeth Scull said. "This is a terribly modified version of the original idea that the Poolesville citizens had." Three years ago, Poolesville residents had envisioned a Community Life Center with a health wing, public library and swimming pool built around the junior-senior high school, but the state never approved funding for such a center, said Scull.
The council formally approved the plan for the Junior-Senior High School to be a community school and lentatively approved the expenditure of $489,000 to construct an indoor public swimming pool at the facility about six months ago.
Residents now have joint use of the high school's library, but the pool proposal has been deferred because of community water problems.
Scull said she hoped that more community services for Poolesville could be centered around the high school sometime this school year. "The whole community school program went by the wayside in the budget," Scull explained.