Daytona Beach has a new program to help low-wage earners own homes

DAYTONA BEACH — Petra Smiley’s new home isn’t exactly one of those tony riverfront estates with

DAYTONA BEACH — Petra Smiley’s new home isn’t exactly one of those tony riverfront estates with lush tropical landscaping, a backyard pool and deck for moonlit parties, and a dock to park the family yacht.

Her house is a 1,250-square-foot concrete block structure built when Richard Nixon was president and located in a no-frills neighborhood just east of Nova Road near Bellevue Avenue.

But to Smiley, a longtime dweller of cramped apartments, it’s the castle she’s been dreaming of for more than a decade. The four-bedroom home has plenty of space for her and her two small children, there’s a yard complete with a huge oak tree in back, a carport will protect her from the rain, and interior upgrades give the home a modern, polished look.