Safety concerns were the main reason for Corrections deciding to scrap the idea of a "halfway house" in the Whanganui suburb of Bastia Hill.
The department proposed a facility for people transitioning from prison to the community for a property in Shakespeare Rd last month.
The project met immediate objections from residents, and the threat of a petition opposing such a facility.
Deciding not to proceed with the project, Corrections said that safety was its "top priority".
"We are committed to talking with local communities when considering the establishment of new reintegration services. We understand that the accommodation of people returning from prison to the community can be concerning.
"We work hard to balance this concern with our obligations to safely manage people in the community when they can no longer be lawfully detained in prison."
Corrections said that, without such accommodation services, those coming out of prison would be homeless.
The department provides 1100 places each year for those transitioning from prison, and spends more than $7 million a year on accommodation and support services.