Neighbours say there was often people drinking, fighting and arguing in the West Auckland flat where a woman was killed last week.
Angela Joy Smith was reportedly stabbed to death in a state housing complex on Great North Rd last Wednesday, with police swooping on a nearby home the next morning to hunt for clues.
Neighbours said they were friendly with 49-year-old Smith at first but later fell out with her over arguments about her drinking.
She often visited flat number 7 in the Kāinga Ora (formerly Housing NZ) complex on Great North Rd.
"There was always drinking, there was fights, there was arguing," said one neighbour, who asked to not be named.
"We rang Housing NZ (Kāinga Ora) and complained over and over and over again."
"I said: 'Is it going to take somebody to get seriously hurt before you do something?'"
A spokeswoman for Kāinga Ora declined to comment on the claim, other than to offer sympathies to Angela Smith's whānau and friends.
"This is an active police investigation into a criminal matter and we would not comment on this."
Police launched a homicide inquiry into Smith's death last Thursday, carrying out scene examinations at Smith's flat 7 and Rafferty's home on nearby Norcross Ave.
They said no one had been arrested or charged in relation to her death.
"Angela's family is understandably devastated by her death and we, along with Victim Support, are supporting them during this incredibly difficult time," police said at the time.
Smith lived at the flat complex with her 12-year-old son, who was understood to be away at the time of her death.
Neighbours said they worried for the boy who had now lost his father, mother and recently his grandmother.
They also said a man named Willy lived at flat 7, who was partially blind and known to beg at the nearby shops.
The neighbours described Smith's death as "frightening".
"You hear about it all the time on the news but you never think it would happen so close like that."
The morning after Smith was killed, police searched the home of a man who was also known to visit the Kainga Ora complex, a man called Rick Rafferty, who lives nearby on Norcross Ave.
"I got woken at 5.30 on Thursday morning with armed police all over the place ... all aimed at his property," one neighbour said.
"Then the place was locked down for three days, they had CSI gear on going through it, checking everything."
Another neighbour heard Rafferty screaming as police searched his home.
"We can hear him screaming, shouting from the house, calling for help like: 'help, help, they've got weapons'."
Rafferty told media outlet Stuff he was interviewed by police on Thursday morning before being released after several hours of questioning.
"I'm not a bad person," he said. "I always try to stay out of trouble.''