Community workers say they fear new state housing rules will leave many people without a home.
Housing New Zealand has banned people other than existing tenants or their partners from living in state houses while on bail, unless they have the agency's permission.
New tenants also need written approval before anyone on home detention or parole can stay with them.
But social worker Carolina Filipo, who lives in the densely state-housed Wellington suburb of Pomare, says courts sometimes bail people to an address without notifying the landlord.
Ms Filipo says many people only have the Government to turn to after being bailed or coming out of prison.
She says Housing New Zealand needs to think more about the impact of its policies on the communities it serves.