Housing won't be focus of tomorrow's Budget - Key

John Key and Housing Minister Nick Smith (Getty)
John Key and Housing Minister Nick Smith (Getty)

If you're expecting the Government to go all-in to solve the housing crisis with Thursday's Budget, prepare to be disappointed.

Prime Minister John Key says housing is "not the number one focus" of the Budget, despite a Newshub-Reid Research poll showing 76 percent of voters don't think the Government is doing enough to control the market.

Mr Key says the Government has been doing plenty, but the public doesn't always find out.

"As a Government you can say things lots of times, it doesn't always register," he told Paul Henry on Wednesday morning. "Do you think really the 76 percent of people hear the quite long list of things that we've done?"

While he acknowledges the Government needs to do a better job of telling people what it is doing, people don't seem to mind the lack of progress so far.

"If they thought we weren't doing a good job, there's no way after basically eight years we'd be at 47 percent."

Among Government ministers, Paula Bennett has come closest to admitting there might be a problem, telling RadioLIVE yesterday there was a housing crisis "for those who haven't got one and are living in cars".

National has consistently denied there is a housing crisis, with Housing Minister Nick Smith calling a reported rise in homelessness a "figment of some people's imagination".

Auckland prices are 72 percent above the pre-global financial crisis peak, and rents have risen 25 percent in five years, well ahead of inflation and incomes.

The Salvation Army says one in 10 garages in south Auckland are being used as accommodation.

Homeless people are getting tens of thousands of dollars into debt after being temporarily homed in motels by Work and Income, but expected to pay for it themselves.