Most of the budget's housing measures shuffle the queue, rather than increase the number of homes.
Voters who own housing are strongly invested in increasing the value of their wealth-generating assets. And they strongly favour the Coalition, which knows to protect their interests.
The controversial HomeBuilder scheme could come with a big upside: making old homes more energy efficient.
It's not easy to choose between the costly hassle of renovating and the expensive upheaval of selling up, and buying a new property.
While much attention was on the US this week, there was also an official acknowledgment that Australia is in recession, and a controversial HomeBuilder program to boost the economy.
The scheme will encourage people who can't afford to buy homes or are homeless to believe the government has forgotten them.
There has never been a better time for public money to go into improving the performance of Australian housing. We could have cut household bills and emissions, as well as saving construction jobs.
It'll have to fund tens of thousands of homes that were going to be built anyway before it creates a single extra house.