Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett says Housing New Zealand will remain as the dominant provider of social housing for those who need it.
The Government indicated it would be selling part of its $17 billion portfolio of state houses, saying nearly a third are unsuitable for current housing needs.
Ms Bennett told TV3's The Nation she would not put a number on any sales.
"It could be thousands, but I would still say that Housing New Zealand will be the dominant force in actually providing social housing in New Zealand, especially in the foreseeable future."
She said work was still being done, and sweeping changes were a long way off.
She said the Government may work with community housing groups to house the needy but the overall intention is to have more housing stock available.