Housing New Zealand documents show housing for people in crisis is under critical pressure in many regions.
Reports from a cross-ministerial steering group, released to Radio New Zealand under the Official Information Act, show big gaps for some groups, including released prisoners, people with disabilities and those with addiction problems.
Community Housing Aotearoa spokesperson, David McCartney, who represents social housing providers, says the underlying problem is a lack of affordable, quality housing.
He says even middle-income earners are having trouble paying the rent, and can't afford to buy, and are squeezing out those on low incomes.
Housing Minister, Phil Heatley, says people in state houses, who no longer need high level support, will be encouraged to move on or buy their homes so that money can be reinvested.
He says the Government has bought an extra 840 state houses in the last two years.
The waiting list for state houses remains at about 10,000.