Indian Road resident David Perry said boarded up homes in his neighbourhood are a haven for vermin. (Nathan Swinn/CBC News)

Residents of Indian Road on Windsor's west end say the number of boarded up homes has now become a safety issue.

"When you're around here when its windy out, pieces of the roofs fall off," said David Montgomery, who lives across the street from some of the derelict homes. "If you walk up and down the street, you can see the siding that's coming off. The eaves troughs are coming off [and] they fall on the road here."

The Canadian Transit Company owns the Ambassador Bridge and most of the boarded up homes on Indian Road. The company wants to tear down the homes to make way for a twin span of its international crossing. But the City of Windsor will not allow the decaying houses to be torn down.

Instead, the city's building department inspects the ground-level access to 66 houses on Indian Road each month. The last inspection was Jan. 4. The city also said there have been no recent calls to the city to complain about the homes.

The Canadian Transit Company also pays Paladin Security to patrol Indian Road and keep an eye on the homes. But neighbours say the inspections and patrols don't make the homes safer or any less of a nuisance.

Montgomery said the patrols are as predictable as clockwork.

"You can tell exactly when they go by. They have a set route and you know when they're coming and when they're not coming," Montgomery said. "And I think that's a problem, too."

Montgomery said the houses should be torn down because they have simply become unsafe.

Other neighbours told CBC News people break into the homes looking for copper to strip from the houses and sell.

David Perry lives on Indian Road and said the neighbourhood is full of animals, like skunks, raccoons, and possums. He said the houses are hideouts for vermin — and maybe more.

"I always hear fire alarms going off in the houses and they're all abandoned. So something's in there triggering them off," Perry said. "I don't know if it's a human or an animal of some kind."